"It allows me to be uplifted by other people. And to see that there are possibilities even on my bad days."

stories Feb 11, 2022

Kimberly in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin

Kimberly was inspired by a possibility from one of our Club Members to conduct a very special experiment. See what happened, and hear how it parallels her experience as a #WhatIfUpper:

"I'm Kimberly Hahn, and I live in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin.

I got introduced the first challenge, I think in January, by my good college friend, April. She'd asked me once before, if I was interested in I was just too busy and not feeling great. And I said, "No." But I regret that I didn't get in sooner because it's been a wonderful place to be.

I post a lot of things in the group about my gardening. I have a big greenhouse and a very big garden. Joyful Genie, (Natalie) just made a comment one day saying, "Hey, this is a cool idea, maybe you should try doing this sometime." I just decided to go with it and have fun with it.

I got two little sunflower seeds, two little pots. I planted them identically. I put them the same depth in the soil. I used the same amount of water. I used the same dirt, same size pot.

I marked one is "what if up" and one as "whatever." And then that little pot that I marked as "what if up," every time I watered it or visited the greenhouse, I took a moment to pause and talk to that little plant and just "what if up" it!

I would say, "What if you grew strong today?" Or "What if this water is exactly what you needed to grow?" Or "What if you're going to be the prettiest flower that blooms in my garden this year, and just all these little What If Ups.

I watered the other plant and I took care of it just like I did the first plant physically, but I didn't funnel any positive energy towards it while I was doing that.

I took a picture of it every single day. And it was interesting because the What If UP flower was the first to break the soil, first to drop it seed shell, it was the first to get it second set of leaves. It's twice as big as the other plant. It was very interesting.

There's no control. It's just two plants. And it could be any other variable. But I love to believe that it's the "what if upping" and I'm definitely going to try the experiment again and see if it works again.

Growing up, I had parents that were very different. They're very wonderful people, both of them. But I have one parent who is very optimistic and one parent who is not very optimistic. And my optimistic parent died when I was 18.

Like I kind of felt I was always half and half, as part my mom part my dad and I was sort of altered when that happened. And I became a really pessimistic person.

I've been really down, really depressed. I've had a lot of bad things happen in my life with some horrible surgeries and just some other things too.

Coming into the What If UP Club, it allows me to be uplifted by other people. And to see that there are possibilities even on my bad days. And there are good things to look at as not only just far off and on the horizon and something that I need to try and strive for, but even stuff in my everyday that's not as bad as I think it is.

I've noticed it's really put a shift in my thinking overall. Even just going for a walk, I used to be in so much pain that I would have to do it for my physical therapy. But I would grumble and I would be miserable. And now I chant to myself, little "what if ups." Like, you know, "What, if I could make it to that stop sign? What if this is making my body stronger?" And I've really noticed that I go further. I stay out longer. I feel better when I get home. Every little thing like that, it just makes such a positive impact.

Positivity isn't just this concept that you can't actually fathom. It's a real physical thing. It physically changed my body. It physically changed the plants in the greenhouse. There's a real interesting science to it. The community and being in the community and having all those what ifs showered onto me when we do CircleUP or different things, it makes me feel like that plant. I'm growing in my own way because of all of the positive energy being sent and showered onto me.

Definitely being a part of this community has made me grow a lot faster than I would have otherwise, that's for sure."